MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Tim Michels said Friday he would sign an abortion ban with rape and incest exemptions if he becomes governor. for the life of mother – was an “exact mirror” of his position.

Conservative radio host Dan O’Donnell asked Michels if he would sign a bill passed by the legislature with exemptions for rape and incest.

“I’m pro-life, but I also understand that this is a representative democracy, and if the people, in this case the legislature, presented me with a bill, I would sign it,” Michels replied.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who is running against Michels in the key state, supports abortion rights. Evers supported a lawsuit by Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, who argues that the state’s 1849 ban was superseded by another law passed in 1985 that allows abortion before viability.

For months, Michels campaigned on statements that he would not support exemptions to state abortion bans. At a Dane County GOP event earlier this month, Michels said he would not soften his stance on abortion despite calls to support rape and incest exemptions.

“I win because people see a strong leader, a man of conviction, a man who does not waver, a man who does not waver. I will stick to what I know is right,” he said on September 6.

Michels’ campaign disputed that he was changing his position, saying he was simply responding to a question about how he would proceed with specific legislation.

Polls have repeatedly shown that a majority of people in Wisconsin support abortion rights, and Wisconsin Democrats have made their support for abortion rights a centerpiece of campaigns this midterm.

A spokeswoman for Evers’ campaign said she doubted Michels’ views had changed.

“Tim Michels has told us time and time again what he believes, even promising earlier this month that he would not soften his dangerous views on abortion. We know he has been telling us the truth for the past two decades, consistently opposing these exemptions,” Evers spokeswoman Kayla Anderson said.

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